How to Handle Back-to-School Mishaps

Even though we’d love for everything to run smoothly in the first days back to school, there will be problems and mistakes. Some may be ours; some may be the schools.

To help prevent issues, talk to your child in advance about what they should anticipate and be sure to have all important information written down in several places: inside the lunchbox, inside the binders or folders, and inside the backpack. Important information includes parent names and phone numbers, as well as bus pick-up and drop-off locations. If you know your child’s bus number, be sure to write that down, too.

And if you don’t have that information, contact the school or bus compound. Administrators and teachers don’t want snafus anymore than parents and students do. If the person you speak to doesn’t have the information, they will try hard to find it out for you.

But how do we help our children manage these circumstances when they arise?

Author Deedee Cummings has faced these unexpected back-to-school mistakes and upsets herself as a mom and offers this advice to parents: “Prepare them for worst-case scenarios before they happen. Talk with your child, make sure they are comfortable, and then send them lots of information, lots of stuff to do if they get delayed, and lots of prayers.”

She even offers this great idea for helping kids be prepared for delays and mistakes: “Pack their backpack with a special kit in a ziplock bag- only to be opened on their adventure. Put a sucker and a juice box in it along with a book, coloring/ activity book with crayons, or colored pencils. Give them a small incentive to write a letter to Grandma or Grandpa. Get creative with this. Children are much more adaptable and resilient than we are. If you make this an adventure, they will think of it this way, too.”

About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All 16 of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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